Student Club Guide 2010
David Pollock and Henry Northmore get their dancing shoes on and head for the ultimate club crawl
One of the biggest sea changes in Glasgow clubbing occurred earlier this year when long-running Sub Club Sunday-nighter Optimo (Espacio) closed its doors after more than a decade. The good news is that it opened again the very next week after a quick rebrand as Hung Up!, with Optimo regulars Twitch and Wilkes still in charge, but only playing occasionally in favour of Glasgow’s most talented and forward-thinking DJs, and the usual roster of excellent live acts from home and abroad.
Optimo has, of course, had more than enough praise from all quarters in its life, but only now is the influence it’s had on the next generation of Glasgow promoters being felt. Numbers’ Jackmaster swore by it growing up and has already played the new night, as have fellow local names to watch, such as Hushpuppy (whose night R-P-Z will have returned in a new monthly format by the time uni goes back), David Barbarossa, The Niallist and Pro-Vinylist Karim. Any of these names on a flyer in Glasgow is a mark of quality.
In place of Optimo, the city has developed one of the most vibrant electronic undergrounds in Europe to take the strain, with the sporadic Numbers night at the Sub Club now pretty much the flagship clubbing event in the city with its combination of dubstep, bassline, techno and hip hop. It’s a forward thinking mixture which is repeated at nights like La Cheetah’s Mount Heart Attack and Stay Plastic, the Sub Club’s How’s Your Party? and the Art School Union’s Mixed Bizness and Fortified, the latter one of the city’s very first dubstep nights. Other venues to keep an eye on for good nights are Stereo and underground techno bunker the Soundhaus, while old stagers like Subculture and Slam’s Pressure and Return to Mono are always worth a spin.
While Edinburgh can’t quite compete with Glasgow in terms of the number and size of club venues, it is rapidly reclaiming its crown as a centre for blossoming underground club culture. Nights like Wasabi Disco (at Sneaky Pete’s) and Devil Disco Club (The Bongo Club) are creating a new late-night soundtrack for the city, that draws on New York’s nu disco dives and mixes them with an anything goes attitude that worships good music whatever genre it may come from.
In fact most night’s at Sneaky Pete’s are worth checking out, with low (often free) entry it’s a great way to dip your toe into dance music you may never have heard before without breaking the bank balance. For midweek clubbing Cabaret Voltaire has probably the strongest line-up of any city in the country with the likes of punk funk night We Are … Electric (Wednesday) and indie/electro disco Sick Note (Thursday). While The GRV, Electric Circus and The Bongo Club are also ever reliable venues for eclectic music and good vibes (from indie and house to techno and dub). But if you crave a bit of superstar DJ action check out the newly reopened Liquid Room and weekends at Cabaret Voltaire and you can’t go far wrong.